Need some quick background paper for your digital scrapbooking? Learn how to create a plaid paper that is easy and color coordinates with your picture. This works in any version of Photoshop or Elements. (This was done in Photoshop CS4 – I’ll mention differences in Elements)
First, create a new document for your paper. Mine is going to be 12 in x 12 in at 300 dpi.
Next, open your main picture. We’ll use this to grab our colors for our plaid paper.
Go to your marquee tool and click and hold down and select the Single Column Marquee Tool . (Elements – select your Rectangle Marquee tool and in the option bar along the top set the mode to Fixed Size, width to 1 pixel, and height to 2000 pixels)
Click it anywhere on your document to grab some colors. You can move your marquee around to reposition it to grab just the colors you want by using your arrow keys.
Hit Ctrl-C to copy (or go to your edit menu and select copy). Minimize your main picture so you can see your new blank paper.
Now hit Ctrl-V to paste your selection (or go to the Edit menu and select Paste). You’ll get a tall, skinny, tiny box that doesn’t cover all of your background. That’s ok. Make sure to not deselect it.
Now comes the fun part. Hit Ctrl-T to Transform the selection. Grab the little squares on one side and drag it over to the edge. Drag the other side to the other edge. And then grab the top and bottom little squares and drag the color out to the top and bottom. Click the check mark to accept the transform.
Next duplicate this layer by dragging it to the New Layer icon -
and rotate it 90 degrees by going to Image-Image Rotation and select 90 degrees CW or CCW. (Elements users – got to Image – Rotate – Rotate Layer 90 degrees Left or Right. Be sure to rotate the layer and not the whole thing!)
Here’s the magic – lower the layer opacity of this layer by clicking the arrow next to the Opacity box and sliding the slider to the left. And you’ll see your new beautiful plaid paper.
You can vary the look by rotating the top layer 180 degrees or varying the layer opacity. You can even experiment with the layer blending modes for a variety of looks.
Here’s the start of my final layout with my picture that color coordinates with the background.
So what do you think? It’s a easy way to create endless variations for your digital scrapbooking. I’ll post this in our Tutorials section in a few days so everyone can view it again easily.